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To the electronic home of the National Butterfly Association, and the sailboat it represents, the Butterfly. On this site you will find information on the Butterfly sailboat and the class Association, including historical records, recent class news, upcoming National Events, Results, Boats and Parts Wanted and For Sale in the Exchange, and details on the boat itself including builder information and parts prices.


For some unknown reason, maybe the full moon, over the last two weeks a couple of questions have shown up about Jim Young's use of sail #720 and his first boat. Here is Jim's answer:

I use 720 for a very simple reason; its my sail number, I own it. I even still have the receipt, from Barnett Boat Company Inc, Rt 3 Box 500A, Kenosha Wisconsin, for a yellow Butterfly, hull # 66170, and sail # 720. The serial number tells you that it is a 1966 boat. That hull was, unfortunaltely, destroyed in a car accident in the Colorado mountains on a rainy night, returning home from the Butterfly Nationals at Aspen in 1971. (And I still have the transom from that boat with the name on it, hanging in my garage.) Since I never sold the boat - or sail - I still own it, and have used 720 ever since.

For those wondering about my first boat, it was yellow, #290, from the summer of 1964. After the summer, that boat moved down to my brother Jack, and I sailed a blue #409 that fall, and got #569, with a bright red deck, to sail in 1965. I sold both of those to Oshkosh sailors and got #720 in early summer, 1966.

And just for fun; that 1971 accident that wrecked my hull? My trailer was hit from behind, in ugly stop-and-go conditions at night, in rain and wind, in a construction zone for the new Interstate 70, just outside of Georgetown, Colorado. The car that couldn't stop fast enough behind me, was driven by Jack Young. Yes, that Jack, my brother. And to make matters worse for the cop who wrote the accident report, the car Jack was driving was registered to me. Jack has largely been forgotten in scow country, but if you have been active in catamarans, you should recognize the name - its the same Jack Young who spent 30+ years with Nacra, as manager of Performance Catamarans in California when it was owned by Catalina Yachts, and then as President of Performance Sports International when Catalina sold the Nacra line to a group of sailor/investors.

2015 Open & Junior Champs are a pair of Franks, Frank Reeg and Frank Frisinger!

The regatta opened with the regular Tune Up race on Tuesday. Twenty-nine boats made it out on to the water, and Lizzy Hamilton (Glen Lake), one of the regulars at the top of the fleet in recent years, took the top spot.

In the 28-boat Open fleet, sailing over the next two afternoons, 5 of the 6 scheduled races were completed, and as former National Champ Jim Young predicted at last year's prize-giving at Glen Lake, the 3-time runner up, Frank Reeg (Spring Lake), took home the Missouri Yacht Club trophy as the new National Champ, winning all 5 races. Tune up winner Lizzy Hamilton needed to beat GRYC's Michael Madden in the last race to take 2nd and the Cedar Lake Yacht Club trophy as well as the Women's National title, which she did by one extra boat, her 4th to Michael's 6th. Behind Michael in 4th was former top woman Olivia Windemuller with Noah Walters in 5th. Two women in the top 5!

The racing in the 29-boat Junior fleet was very tight, with the winner not clear until the last race was over. The top five in the final results were each separated by only 1 point. Muskegon's Frank Frisinger saved his worst race for the last one, a 6th, but it was just barely enough to beat SLYC's Noah Walters by 1 point. Noah needed to beat Frank in the last race, but instead also had his worst finish, a 9th. Fortunately, his other race finishes were enough to hold on to second over two fast-finishing Torch Lake boats, Simon Garratt and Sherman Tompson, who were 1-2 in the last race. GRYC's Murphy Wynsma fell to 5th overall with a 17th in Race 5.

Thanks to the host club, Spring Lake, for another excellent Nationals!

Open Results
Junior Results

2015 Single Handed National Champion is .......

We don't know who it is. No one has sent us any event info including results. There is nothing posted on the Grand Rapids Yacht Club web site about the results, and we have not been able to find any other link online to what happened there. If someone has a copy of results and could send them to us, we - and a number of others - would appreciate it very much! Send to The Butterflyer


[answers to this quiz can be found on a new page, Class Rules Quiz]

The quiz in May (below) generated some comments and interest about the Class Rules (you can get to them by the menu bar above). So here is a short quiz on Butterfly Class Rules;

#1; What lines in the Class Rules apply specifically to the Builder or anyone doing repairs or restorations on a Butterfly sailboat?

and #1a, what do the the Class Rules say about MATERIALS used to build or repair boats?

#2; What do the Class Rules say about Masts?

#3; What part of the Class Rules is really not a Rule?

#4; How are the Class Rules enforced?

and the trick questions;

#5; How many different Masts have been supplied by the Builder either directly or through Dealers with new boats? Are they all class-legal?

#6; How many different versions of the internal contruction of the boats - fibers, resins, core materials, stringers (ribs), foam flotation and reinforcing - have been built by a) John Barnett, and b) Hedlund brothers? And are any of these not class-legal? (The current builder is entitled to keeping his own secrets, as long as his boats meet the answer to question #1....)

We'll be happy to post answers, comments and questions, its all about learning more about how Butterfly sailing really works when you want to go racing! Send yours to The Butterflyer

Dan Darrow Trophy Retired

The Dan Darrow Trophy for the Butterfly Combined Championship, the sailor with the highest combined finish at both the Singles and Open Nationals, is being retired. The trophy, consisting of a framed watercolor with a separate plaque for engraving, was given to the class at a time when traveling long distances to regattas was normal, and the class had many highly competative sailors scattered all over the country. As travel costs have risen, and salors are staying closer to their home lakes, the trophy has clearly declined in importance to the fleet. Highlighting its decline, it has been won by the same sailor for the last 7 years in a row. And it has proven to be an expensive trophy for the class, with the glass broken at least twice, and the engraving plaque 'misplaced' once, only to be 'found' after the class paid for a replacement.

We've been in contact with Dan, who in his Butterfly days he sailed the with the Northern Illinois Butterfly Association, and was one of top competitors in the class - he won the Open Nationals in '83, and was Single-Handed National Champion in '77, '82 and '84. He also served two terms as Comodore, in '76-'77. We found him, still sailing actively, in Etchells on Puget Sound in Washington. The trophy will be returned to him, to help him remember his days in small boats and his contributions to this class.

Quiz #1 results

Quiz #1 is closed, with no winner! Thirteen sailors submitted complete answers, but most missed #1 by simply saying the Racing Rules or something similar - which is very close but not quite correct, the Rules themselves are much more precise in listing what the Rules consist of.. Everyone got #2 right, there was enough of a hint in the question. But a number got #3 very wrong. Five people clicked on the 'Submit' button but never clicked on 'Send', so we really don't know what they were thinking. And 2 sailors asked good questions instead of submitting answers. And the answers to #4 were scattered, its clear that this is misunderstood by many. The answers are posted below, following each question, in blue.

Regatta Season is coming - Are You Ready?

Do you know the Rules? They are the basis of our sport, the many little details that control what we sail, how we sail, how we govern the sport to make it as fair as possible. Unfortunately there are some who think their opinions are more important than the Rules. So to get ready for the sailing season, its time to test your knowledge, to see if you are really ready, and to help you better prepare if you are not.

Quiz #1. The first to submit the correct answers gets a new Butterfly hiking strap, free, from JimYoungSailing.com.

1. What are the Rules?

The easy answer is the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). But the RRS takes care to make sure you know that the RRS alone is not ALL of the Rules. So the correct answer is right at the front of the Rule Book, in the Definitions. The Definitions are important because they mean exactly what they say, there is no possible 'interpretation' or opinion. Look for the word RULE, and you will discover that the list is 7 items long!

The first item is the RRS itself, and that item takes care to list ALL of the RRS including parts that many sailors never read. Item b is a list of Regulations, that apply primarily to International classes and events, including the OLympics. Item c is the Prescriptions - the RRS itself comes from the Iternational Sailing Federation, and the Prescriptions are ways for each country - like the US - to make some small changes specific to that country. Item d is the Class Rules, items e and f are the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions. Yes, those two items are Rules, governing the event - the NOR is everything you need to know BEFORE the event, while the SIs are everything you need to know AT the event. Becuse they rank as RULES, its important that an event organizer gets all of the details correct and not just throw in some random thoughts not allowed or approved by either the RRS or the Class. The last item, 'other documents', would include anything specifically mentioned in the NOR or SIs, like the Entry Form. For some classes that allow open sails and perform a measurement at major events - like Optis - a Measurement Form is another example.

2. How are violations of the Rules heard and decided?

RRS 63.1 is crystal clear, "A boat or competitor shall not be penalized without a protest hearing, except as provided in rules 30.2, 30.3, 69, A5 and P2." A Protest Hearing is absolutely required - but do you know what those exceptions are? Read those Rules to learn what can happen without a hearing - but note that those are the ONLY things that can happen without a hearing.

3. Who can Protest?

RRS 60; the list includes three AND ONLY THREE groups who can Protest; 60.1, a boat; 60.2, a Race Committee; or 60.3, the Protest Committee. Can a spectator protest? A Parent or family member who is not one of those three groups? Anyone on a shore committee, such as a beachmaster or even the scorer? NO. Spectators, regatta staff and volunteers who are not Race Committee or Protest Committee members have the same right to cheer or boo as the spectators at a football game, send complaining emails or make stupid Twitter or Facebook comments, but they have no right to Protest. Something special to notice about that list, it does not include class officers or measures. They could be called as witnesses in a Protest Hearing regarding Class Rules or Measurement issues, but they may not file a protest themselves (unless they are a member of one of the three named groups) and may not make any judgements or take any actions that would affect a boat RACING outside of a Protest Hearing.

4. When do the Rules apply?

Hint; the Rules are named the RACING Rules of Sailing! And if you look in the Definitions, you will find that the word RACING is a Defined word, "A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks or retires, or until the race committee signals a general recall, postponement or abandonment." So, if you are not at event, not RACING, then none of the Rules apply. The Preamble to Sections 2 and 4 of the RRS further clarifies the Right-of-way issues, making it clear that the "International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules" apply to boats that are not RACING".

Quiz #1 closes Wednesday May 20, at 6 pm Central Time.

Regatta Season is coming - Are You Ready?

June and July are just around the corner, and with those pages on the calendar come the two major Butterfly events of the year, the Singe-Handed National Championship and the Open & Junior Nationals.

The Singles come up first, near the end of June on the 25th and 26th in a Thursday/Friday format. Home club is the Grand Rapids Yacht Club, hosting the event for the first time since 2007. This regatta has been traveling around the country, from MO to CO to WI to TX to back in MI, to help promote Butterfly sailing outside of the most active area, Michigan. Now its Michigan's turn again, two years after Spring Lake hosted a small but competitve fleet in unusually strong and shifty winds. What will Reeds Lake offer the fleet this year? Are you getting ready?

And the Open & Junior Nationals return to Spring Lake in mid-July, 14th through the 16th, the first time this regatta returns to one of its customary sites since 2009. This is normally the biggest event for the class, and to help handle the event chores, the organizers have created a web site just for the event at butterflynationals.org to handle all of the regatta chores, from entry to scoring to results.

Notice of Race for both events are available on the Events page. See you on the water in Michigan this summer!

Two different boats from the same photo. Why do they look different?

Do you know how a mast works with the sail? Do you know and understand the differences in the masts that have been sold as 'standard equipment' by the various builders with new boats?











What do you think this is?

Do you know what the inside of a Butterfly looks like? And a better question, do you think all Butterflys look the same on the inside, as built new by the builders?






Yesterday, and Tomorrow

We have started a long project, scanning in old printed editions of the class newsletter, The Butterflyer. We will make them available here as we get them done, and gradually add them to the History section of the web site, so everyone can see what has happened in the long life of this fun boat.

The first 6 years are now up! These are all pdf files, so you will need Adobe Reader - and they are all multipage files, so expect them to take a bit to upload;

The Butterflyer #1 1965
The Butterflyer #2 1965

The Butterflyer #1 1968
The Butterflyer #2 1968
The Butterflyer #3 1968
The Butterflyer #4 1968

The Butterflyer #1 1966
The Butterflyer #2 1966

The Butterflyer #1 1969
The Butterflyer #2 1969
The Butterflyer #3 1969

The Butterflyer #1 1967
The Butterflyer #2 1967
The Butterflyer #3 1967
The Butterflyer #1 1970
The Butterflyer #2 1970


2007 Singles at Grand Rapids MI Racing Rules of Sailing 2013 edition

This is the Study Edition of Racing Rules of Sailing - ISAF edition - click the title above, and learn what the Rules really say.




An animated guide to tying all the knots you'll ever need on a sailboat. Fun learning tool.

  Does anyone have news about some of the early pioneers of the class? News clippings from early events? We'd like to hear about it, send an email to the Butterflyer.

The Butterfly sailboat is one of the originators of the "one-design" sailing concept. In existence since 1962, the class is virtually unchanged, with only updates to hardware and fittings with new materials plus refinements and innovations in the internal structure to make a stronger, longer-lasting boat. Over 10,000 boats have been built since then, with the boat finding its way to cottages as a vacation boat, at home as a family recreation boat, in yacht club programs as a very successful junior training boat, and in racing, where the class has men, women, youth to masters, all competing together equally on a boat where the biggest single difference is the sailor.

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Jim Young

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